After a month of spotlighting the strange (if endearingly strange) history of comic books (and especially the Silver Age), I think it is worthwhile to show the comic books of the Silver Age that are simply great stories period. Here is an archive of all the Silver Age comics features so far!
Today we look at the short-lived but impressive stint that Mademoiselle Marie had as the lead feature in Star-Spangled War Stories.
Star Spangled War Stories spent a lot of time looking for a lead feature (ultimately Unknown Soldier got the nod). One of the characters they gave a chance to was the French freedom fighter Mademoiselle Marie, as beautiful as she was deadly. She had a seven-issue stint from 1959’s #84 through #91 (she missed #90, which debuted “The War That Time Forgot,” the feature that took over the lead spot from her with #92).
Robert Kanigher wrote all seven issues, while Jerry Grandenetti drew her debut and her second issue. Mort Drucker then drew four issues and Ross Andru and Mike Esposito handled #91.
Check out her awesome debut (note that you do have to get past her ridiculous phonetic accent)…
I love how quickly they try to give her a catch phrase. “This is war, not a romance.” Awesome.
Then we get to see both Marie and the captain kick some ass…
The captain has placed charges on the bridge, but he is too close to the charges. Marie hesitates to blow the bridge…
He recovers and wants her to return to England with him, but she, of course, tells him no. She can see him again when the war is won.
#88, by Drucker, is SOOO filled with badass moments.
First off, check out the first moment in this issue to show how fearless Marie is…
Drucker does a good job with this art. The story involves a Nazi spy pretending to be an American agent. He is undone by his own arrogance as he, Marie and a small patrol escort a professor whose work is key to the war effort.
Awesome stuff. Really dramatic. And here’s Marie’s other fearless moment, as she puts total faith in her squad’s ability to bail her out.
Marie was not long for a LEAD feature, but she became one of the most prominent DC war characters, appearing frequently, especially in crossovers with other DC war characters (she and the Unknown Soldier did NOT get along, while she and Sgt. Rock got along REALLY well, if you know what I mean).